ABOUT Public Art
The Arts Council of Indianapolis envisions a city where public art is essential to creating inspiring places, living in cohesive neighborhoods, and helping culture thrive.
Indianapolis’ Plan 2020, in its Bicentennial Agenda, calls out the importance of public art in reaching the overall city vision of becoming a healthier, more inclusive, more resilient, and more competitive community, stating:
"Public art, in particular, has a role to play because it is seen and shared by all segments of the community, young and old, rich and poor…We use art to tell stories, connect people and history, and place things in context. Art and culture make Indianapolis not only an attractive destination, but also help us recognize it as home."
We value authenticity, equity, inclusivity, flexibility, and, of course, beauty in the projects and programs that we deliver. We use public art, creative placemaking, and creative placekeeping as strategies to elaborate on what makes Indianapolis unique, to define culture hyper-locally and reflect its participants, and to encourage civic engagement on all levels.
Public art initiatives we have spearheaded include:
- Projects that circulate the work of local artists to public places throughout the city, such as High Art and Welcome Race Fans
- Projects that permanently enhance important public locations, such as 46 for XLVI, Vibrant Corridors, and Talking Wall
- Projects that introduce Indianapolis’ arts to the world, such as our Public Art Directory and exhibitions at Indianapolis International Airport
- Projects that bring the work of well-known artists into everyday spaces, such as Julian Opie and Chakaia Booker
- Projects that help neighborhoods engage with their identity and encourage positive, creative use of public space, such as Streetcorner Canvases and Public Art for Neighborhoods
- Projects that encourage communities to spend meaningful time in parks and nature, such as partnering with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful’s IPL Project GreenSpace on projects like Millersville Marker
- Projects that infuse art into unexpected places, such as the Great Ideas competition, the Picture Windows series, and sporting events
- Programs and resources that enable people to connect with public art wherever they live, work and play
We also serve as a public art resource and key creative partner in community planning and development initiatives, including Reconnecting to Our Waterways, Great Places 2020, Velocity, and Plan 2020: The Bicentennial Plan for Indianapolis
Finally, we maintain information and resources that help artists get public art commissions, including identifying professional practices and notifying artists of opportunities locally, regionally, and nationally.